GEORGE NEWS - Two convicts from Thembalethu had a brief taste of freedom when they escaped from the holding cells at the George Magistrate's Court on Wednesday 27 September. Both were re-arrested later that evening.
It is believed that, with the assistance of other detainees, Thembekile Jile (26) and Abongile Sihlengela (25) managed to free themselves from their handcuffs and break through the ceiling of their cell. Their freedom was however short-lived, as they were apprehended at approximately 22:00.
All court proceedings were put on hold when the escape became known and the police and sniffer dogs searched the building. Tear gas was also used in an attempt to find the escapees and the building was put on lockdown. According to Johan Pienaar, communications officer for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) in the Southern Cape, Sihlengela was arrested by local police in the CBD after he was seen by a member of the public and Jile was caught in Lawaaikamp by correctional services officers.
Both men are serving out the remainder of their sentences for previous convictions at the George prison after their parole had been revoked. They had to appear in court on Wednesday on charges relating to other offences.
Jile was previously found guilty and sentenced for housebreaking and theft. George Herald has heard that Jile was out on parole when he committed a similar crime, for which he was to appear in court on the day of their escape.
Sihlengela was previously found guilty of attempted robbery and assault.
He was arrested again after he violated his parole conditions. He was to appear in court on Wednesday on a charge of rape. It is unclear if the rape occurred while he was on parole. Both men appeared in the George Magistrate's Court on 30 September on a charge of escaping from lawful custody out of prison. Their next appearance will be on 30 October for legal aid.